Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New England Fall + Spiced Nuts

 "Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." -George Elliot

I am over 1200 miles from home; it is currently getting down to the 40s at night; snow within the next month is a strong possibility. All of this is okay because I am in awe of my first New England fall.

In Oklahoma we get very beautiful fall colors but the trees here are just jaw dropping. Yesterday I drove out to the UConn campus for a meeting and along the drive I kept wishing I had my camera because I kept seeing beautiful tree after beautiful tree. Logan and I are going hiking this week so I will take more pictures but here is just one from my backyard. I was shocked when I got home from my two weeks in Oklahoma because all of a sudden the trees were ablaze with gorgeous color. I can't believe that this is my backyard...I love just sitting on the deck with a fire in the chiminea, drinking coffee with cinnamon and just enjoying the crisp fall air...I just wish Logan (or friends or family) were here to share it.
View from deck
Originally I was just going to post this as is but here is a really quick recipe that I whip out when I want a snack or need to convince Logan to mow the lawn.

Spiced Nuts
Beat one egg white (save the yolk and make some sort of custard or something later) and 1 Tbs of water till nice and frothy. Pour egg white/water mixture over about 3 cups of pecans (I imagine you could use other nuts but I always use pecans because I am sort of Southern and it is in my genes, also pecans are delicious) and stir until all the pecans are moistened. In a bowl, mix sugar, salt (I am a big fan of coarse sea salt...I am convinced it is more tasty than other varieties), cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and then sprinkle over the nuts. Spread the nuts on an aluminum foil covered pan (helps with clean up) and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes stirring 2 or 3 times during baking. Watch your nuts for the last 10 minutes or so because some ovens cook faster/slower and you don't want to burn them.

The great thing about this recipe is you can modify it to make savory nuts with different spices. I have done some with rosemary, salt and pepper that were tasty. I also really liked a spicy version with red pepper, cumin and a bit of chili powder. Play with it and make some for when you have company coming for holidays; put them in a pretty bag with a ribbon when you need a quick gift or make them when you are hungry and scarf them all up.

Spiced Nuts
1 Egg White
1 Tbs of water
3(ish) cups of pecan halves
1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 tps of salt
1 1/2 tps of cinnamon
1/2 tps of ground cloves
1/2 tps of nutmeg

Happy Fall Color Watching and Nut Toasting!

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